I can still remember the first time.
I was seven years old. I don’t remember the shop, or even what kind of shop it was–a bookstore, perhaps? A drugstore? An eclectic little gem with knickknacks and mementos gracing dusty, wooden shelves? I don’t know. That detail has escaped, leaking through the holes of conscious memory, a magic trick of the mind. But the rack, the spinning rack–I remember that.
The rack was taller than I was, filled with issue after issue of comic books. The covers promised grand adventures, larger-than-life stories, journeys through space and time. I spun the rack, mesmerized by the squeaking sound it emitted, the covers whirring past in a blur.
When the rack finally stopped spinning, I looked at the comic book directly in front of me. The Fantastic Four, number 209. I’d heard of Marvel’s first superhero team, of course, but I was…
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